THERE CAN BE SOME SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW (in the case of quotes)
After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them).
First line of the book: “Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse I saw the dead guy standing next to my locker.”
Title: Marked (#1)
Author: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
My Edition: Published in 2011 by Cappelen Damm, with 337 pages (It’s really Helene’s, I borrowed it) It was first published in 2007.
Age: Young Adult (16+, there’s A LOT of sexual content in this book)
Series: House of Night (Total of 12 books)
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Vampires, Fantasy and Urban Fantasy.
WHY THIS BOOK
So, this book was one of ten in the series House of Night that I borrowed from a friend of mine. I can’t say that I’m a huge vampire-fan when it comes to literature, but I do like good stories, and these books seemed interesting. I’ve read it in norwegian, which is something I rarely do, but I do think that it kind of “damaged” the book a little bit more than it should have, because I rarely appreciate translating.
I want to be deadly honest, and I want to make this a review based on MY opinions of the book. I don’t want you to back away from this book based on my really honest opinions, but I do want you to take them into consideration because this is by far one of the worst books I’ve read, and it’s not entirely based upon the fact that it’s about vampires, but because it’s just not that good. The plot isn’t amazing, I mean, we’ve all heard it. There’s a girl who’s chosen to start an academy for vampires and it’s weird and she’s conflicted. It’s not the most impressive plot.
The world in itself reminds me of True Blood (Humans knows that vampires exist), but this series have a twist. People have to go through four years of school to become a vampire. All though it did remind me of one of my favorite tv-series; this book-series kind of takes it to another level. Humans and vampires have lived side by side for hundreds of years, there’s never been a war or any conflict. The vampires are more or less human, they can eat normal food, they dress like normal people and they have a God that everyone believes in.
The writing is weird. There’s two writers, and I think they’re mother and daughter, which, is super-weird. But the writing is pretty much like writing a teenage girl’s essay. And I think that it’s done that way on purpose, or at least I want to believe that’s the case. Just to take one example on the writing itself;
“Nice dress Zoey. It looks just like mine. Oh, wait! It used to be mine” Aphrodite laughed a throaty I’m-so-grown-and-you’re-just-a-kid laugh.
I feel like the writing is just really childish, and it feels like the authors wanted this to fit for girls between ages 11 and 15, but because of all the more “grown-up” stuff, it doesn’t fit. And that’s one of the things that really annoys me. It doesn’t feel like they did any research at all. I didn’t like the book, much because of the writing, it just didn’t make any sense at all and I just felt like I was reading some young teenage girls diary or something.
The thing that dragged this book really down into the gutter was the fact that I didn’t like one character in this book. Zoey, the MC, is so unlikable and stupid and naive and she just doesn’t seem like the average teenage girl. She labels everyone losers or goths or whores and bitches, which in my opinion is one of the worst things a human being can do. We don’t fit under one label, we’re hundreds of them.
Damien, one of her friends is the typical gay best friend. Stevie Ray is the normal wonderful roommate, who in fact likes Zoey from the start. There are a pair of twins that I really didn’t catch any names to, because to be honest they were wasteful. All of her friends are worshipping the ground Zoey walks on from the beginning. She’s so beautiful and special and flawless and it just becomes too much. Nala, the only character in this book that I actually liked, was a cat and she can’t even speak.
ALL IN ALL
I want to give you guys some examples to the book. Like really give you a heads up, because this book is full of sexual content, it’s full of labels and it’s also full of sexism. It’s not a book I would have given to a young girl; because I’m afraid it would have changed her vision upon herself and people around her.
“Kayla Robinson, if you don’t shut up I’ll fly down there and suck every last bit of blood from your stupid cheating cow body!”
“… The Mark had somehow made my eyes look even bigger and darker. I lined them with a smoky black shadow that had little sparkly flecks of silver in it. Not heavily like those loser girls who think that plastering on black eyeliner makes them look cool. Yeah, right. They look like scary raccoons.” (On the typical “Goth” girl).
“Actually, in stead of being afraid, it was more like I was an observer, as if none of this could really touch me. (kinda like those girls who have sex with everyone and think that they’re not going to get pregnant or get a really nasty STD that eats your brains and stuff. Well, we’ll see in ten years, won’t we?”
“I doubt there’s a teenager alive today who isn’t aware that most of the adult public think we’re giving guys blow jobs like they used to give guys gum. That’s bullshit, and it’s always made me mad. There are girls who think it’s ‘cool’ to give guys head. Uh, they’re wrong. Those of us with functioning brains know that it’s not cool to be used like that.”
The book is full of sexual content, it’s full of girls hating other girls because they’re “prettier”. It’s full of girls liking boys because they’re just pretty to look at. It’s full of girls calling other girls bad words because, they’re girls? I don’t know, I feel like this books portrays girls in a very specific way. Like we have to be either pretty or smart, we can’t be goths because them we look like scary raccoons. We can’t do things that we want because it’ll make us whores and it’s just wrong.
I don’t think the cover is THAT amazing, but I like it mostly because it’s dark and fits nicely together with the fact that it’s about vampires.
Favorite quote: “He’s not the brightest crayola in the pack.”